NASA STTR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-II T1.01-9877
PHASE-I CONTRACT NUMBER: NNA04AA21C
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:Information Technologies for System Health Management, Autonomy and Scientific Exploration
PROPOSAL TITLE:SPHERES Autonomy and Identification Testbed

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (SBC): RESEARCH INSTITUTION (RI):
NAME: Payload Systems, Inc. NAME:Massachusetts Institute of Technology
ADDRESS:247 Third Street ADDRESS:77 Massachusetts Avenue
CITY:Cambridge CITY:Cambridge
STATE/ZIP:MA  02142-0000 STATE/ZIP:MA  02139-4301
PHONE: (617) 868-8086 PHONE: (617) 253-3288

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name,Email)
Steven   Sell
sell@payload.com
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Many future space missions involve formation flying spacecraft performing imaging, inspection, assembly, and servicing missions. Having multiple spacecraft in close proximity undergoing comparatively rapid maneuvers dramatically changes the nature of safe modes. No longer can a spacecraft just null its rates, point its arrays towards the Sun and phone home. Now, the faulty spacecraft must also ensure that it will not collide with others. Furthermore, it must plan its maneuvers such that if it does experience a fault, the likelihood of collision is minimized. Fault detection, isolation, and recovery (FDIR) is more complex and requires a vigilant on-board software watchdog that reacts to both intra-vehicle as well as inter-vehicle faults and plans according to the consequences. Payload Systems Inc. (PSI), along with it partners at MIT and Intellization, propose an Autonomy and Identification Testbed (SPHERES-AIT) based on the SPHERES platform. SPHERES is a multi-satellite docking laboratory to mature metrology, autonomy, and path-planning algorithms for AR&D in the risk-tolerant yet long duration micro-gravity inside the International Space Station (ISS). This work will mature a modular autonomy software architecture that supports on-orbit self-assembly and spacecraft formation flight using a coordinated terrestrial and ISS laboratory that supports spiral development.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Human Lunar and Human Mars Exploration (HLE & HME) will benefit from SPHERES-AIT, by providing an extensible research laboratory for spiral development of autonomous fault detection, isolation, and recovery algorithms in a risk-tolerant, long duration, micro-gravity environment. Additionally, Terrestrial Planet Finder ? Interferometer (TPF-I) and the Sub-millimeter Probe for the Evolution of Cosmic Structure (SPECS) benefit due to the complimentary research that SPHERES is performing for these missions. In particular, SPHERES is being used to develop lost-in-space, formation capture, array rotation, and array precession for TPF-I and to test dynamics and controls technology for tethered formations such as SPECS.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The Department of Defense is leading the development of satellite servicing technologies which will dramatically benefit NASA missions. These include XSS-11, Orbital Express, SUMO, etc. These missions, while demonstrating the technical feasibility of satellite servicing, will still require the robustness and routinely reconfigurable operations that SPHERES-AIT enables. Additionally, The SPHERES AIT testbed, operating on terrestrial flat floor facilities as well as on the International Space Station, could provide a facility for other research organizations to use. For example, NASA GSFC, NASA Ames, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lockheed Advanced Technology Center, and Draper have conducted research on SPHERES


Form Printed on 01-25-05 19:05